Inspired by the recent discovery of fossil footprints found in the Grand Canyon, NMSL has created a display highlighting our paleontology related materials and the discoveries made here in New Mexico.
Fossils of plant life, sea life, and reptiles from long, long ago can be found in the landscape around us. These findings provide a window into the past and have been used to fill in missing information from the pre-historic timeline. For instance, the Bisti Beast (74 million years ago), which was found in the Bisti/De-na-zin Wilderness Area, fills in the gap between the smaller tyrannosauroids of the Jurassic period and the larger tyrannosauroids of the Cretaceous period, like T-Rex. This was a find that had global impact and it is just one example of many. Another example is the even older Prehistoric Trackways National Monument in the Robledo Mountains dating back to the Permian period (280 million years ago).
The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science produce prolific research regarding this field of study. As a state agency and a division of Cultural Affairs all of their publications can be found here at the New Mexico State Library. Of particular interest is their Bulletin Series which covers non-vertebrate and vertebrate fossils and much, much more. If you have research needs surrounding the natural history of New Mexico, we’ve got you covered.
Some other interesting finds in our collection include federal publications from the Department of the Interior, which highlight the national monuments and publications from the Smithsonian Institute, which discuss findings beyond New Mexico.